Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Indonesia:
Essays in Honour of Professor J.D. Legge

David P. Chandler + M.C. Ricklefs (editors)

Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University 1986
A book review by Danny Yee © 1993 http://dannyreviews.com/
Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Indonesia is a collection of thirteen essays on Indonesian history. Three of the essays are about Legge (on his relationship with Cornell, his role in the history of Asian Studies in Australia and his approach to history and to Indonesian studies) and one is a fairly polemical discussion of current trends in Indonesian studies, drawing on wider theoretical and philosophical perspectives. The other essays range from the almost purely ethnographic — a study of Shi'a ritual in Sumatra and two essays on peasant life in colonial Java — to a biographical and historiographical essay on the letters of R.A. Kartini. Other subjects include prostitution in colonial Java, the missing Indonesian bourgeoisie (a kind of introduction to Robison's book Indonesia: The Rise of Capital), health as a nationalist issue in colonial Indonesia, Christianity vs Confucianism in West Java, and the involvement of Australian troops in Sulawesi at the end of World War II.

Anyone involved in Indonesian or Southeast Asian studies is likely to find some of the essays in this eclectic collection relevant to their work. Most of the essays are, however, too specialised to be of real interest to generalist historians.

July 1993

Related reviews:
- books about Indonesia + Indonesian history
- more anthropology
- more modern history
%T Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Indonesia
%S Essays in Honour of Professor J.D. Legge
%E Chandler, David P.
%E Ricklefs, M.C.
%I Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University
%D 1986
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0867464534
%P 281pp